Cutting cabochons leaves you with many little gemstone bits and pieces. I toss them in a bin,  thinking one day I would figure out something to do with them.  I explored “Intarsia” but do not have the right equipment to properly assemble an intarsia project.  Lightbulb moment, I would try to make mosaics from the gemstone pieces.  I figured with my years of painting with the “Pointillist” technique, that the theory’s should translate to mosaic construction without too much difficulty.

Gemstone Mosaic Tessera

Gemstone off cuts

Mosaic Gemstone TesseraA Sampling of the gemstone bits and pieces after polishing and sorting.  These are known as “Tesserae”


I purchased a few books on making mosaics, watched some youTube videos and was a bit stunned by the multitude of techniques.


I purchased adhesive, grout and backing material, and then began polishing all of the gemstone off cuts.  Little did I know this would literally take weeks.  Many mosaic artists use ceramic tile or other already polished materials.  To use gemstone, all of the pieces had to go through the same steps that it takes to shape and polish a jewelry cabochon.

My first mosaic was based on a picture I took at my daughters wedding.  The newly married couple released doves into the air and a pretty great photo was captured with the doves in flight very close to their hands.

Dove Release Gemstone Mosaic

Release a dove of peace

This was my first mosaic, a great deal of learning was achieved in the making of this piece.  My trial and error phase begins again

For my next piece I decided to try a waterfall.  I love waterfalls, going to them and painting them.  Every time I paint a new waterfall I try to use a new technique.  I spent more time on the artistic element of this piece, trying to work it out before starting to adhere the tessera to the backing.  I did not do too well in accounting for the spacing and had about 50 pieces left over lol.

Gemstone Mosaic Waterfall in progress 1

Gemstone Mosaic Waterfall in progress 2

Gemstone Mosaic Waterfall in progress 3

And finally the finished mosaic artwork!

"The Waterfall" Gemstone Mosaic

“The Waterfall” Gemstone Mosaic

These pieces are available for sale.  Call me or write if you are interested.

I will be making more but so far I have not felt the call to spend a week polishing hundreds of bits and pieces.  Writing this though is actually making me want to go back to the grinding wheels.  Though my workshop is like a sauna right now.